Some coding questions provide sample input files but don't get around to naming the input file. The answerers often make up their own unique input filenames, like "file", "input", "inputfile", or "foo". Sometimes a reasonable variation on an input file name can break a seemingly correct given answer, or make it harder to understand, (e.g. when describing the file command syntax file file is more confusing than file foo).

For a given answer it's more useful for readers to just see one set of names.

Should Qs and As be retroactively harmonized, i.e. edited to use the same names?

If so, which names? (The most popular A, or the OP's favorite A, or what?)

Qualification: some Q & As are simple enough, (with minimal file access), that they need no specific input file names, and are therefore outside of the scope of this question.

  • foo and bar maybe?
    – grochmal
    Jul 8, 2016 at 0:44
  • 1
    Got any example questions you're thinking of editing in mind?
    – derobert
    Jul 8, 2016 at 5:58
  • @derobert, I'd already done several missing filename inclusions over the past few months, but piecemeal, not systemically. Which eventually was how the question came to mind. I agree that some illustrative examples would be a good thing. Pending...
    – agc
    Jul 8, 2016 at 6:10

1 Answer 1


If harmonized file names are really useful to follow the question and answers, then please do harmonize them. Pick a sensible set, preferably the one in the question, failing that one used in an answer. Which answer doesn't really matter.

Harmonized file names don't always matter. If there's just one input file and one output file, it's easy enough to follow. Edit only if having consistent file names throughout genuinely makes the answers easier to read.

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